Friday, February 3, 2017

Character Spotlight: Malena Troutman

Hi. My name is Malena Troutman and I’m a mage-shifter. Gee, that sounds like a twelve-step program starter. Though that’s not a bad idea for my kind. It seems that there are a lot more of us than I ever thought.

Anyway, I’m getting ahead of myself. Lion’s Choice is a story about me and the alpha who saved me. You see, where I grew up—in the canyons of Washington state—mage-shifters were not accepted. Covens didn’t want us—meaning me—because I could shift. Shifters didn’t want me because I could do magic. I was an unpure hybrid, abandoned when I was a baby and tossed from one family to another, never belonging.

Then I met Stefan Wyemore and wow, did things change. He was the new alpha of the Northwest territories and he was making some changes—changes that some people didn’t like. So he had to fight. A lot. But most people liked his changes. He was bringing prosperity to the prides and packs. He was making it so hybrids were accepted. Felines could fall in love with canines (didn’t happen often, but it did happen). And he not only accepted my abilities, but he told me he loved me. And I fell for him. Hard. He is amazing. He’s not only a powerful alpha from an even more powerful family, but he’s a mage-shifter too. 

Anyway, this story is about how Stefan and I met and what happened with the prides when he took me as his mate. Though it’s just the beginning of our story. I can’t wait to see what comes next for us. It’s sure to be exciting. I hope you enjoy our story.

Stefan the Black, alpha of the northwestern territories, needs a strong mate. It’s the only way the prides and packs will continue to follow him, but he hasn’t found the right one yet. Then Dr. Malena Troutman literally runs into him and he and his beast know that she is the one.

The problem is convincing her.

“Is there a problem?”
Malena looked up—something that didn’t happen too often—to find a man with raven hair and eyes the color of deep sapphires looking down at her. She immediately recognized him. She could never forget that face or his scent. Her lion grew restless, and Mali fought to stay in control. He wore cut-off jean shorts and a deep blue tee, exposing impressive muscles, but not body-builder bulk. These were the lean, long ones of a lethal animal.
“Oh! Alpha Stefan, it’s nothing. Just a computer mix-up with Miss Troutman’s reservation. I’m sure we can find someone who will take her in.”
Alpha Stefan? Damn. Of course he would be the alpha. “That’s Doctor Troutman, and I’d rather not be crammed into someone’s family room with screaming kids running all around.” Mali let a little of her irritation show in her voice.
“What about a separate bedroom with a private bath and no screaming kids?”
She hesitated the briefest of seconds before nodding. She wondered if he had orchestrated this glitch, along with the invitation. “That’s what I was hoping for.” Not only did her lioness approve, but so did the witch side of her. That in itself was odd enough for her to pay attention.
“Where are your bags, Doctor Troutman?” He smiled at her, a grin of both invitation and consideration.
“Just this.” She indicated a regulation-sized pull-along. “The rest are still in my truck, though I have no idea where that is at the moment.”
“In the parking area. I can have one of the valets retrieve your things for you if you wish.”
“Thank you. They’re rather important, and some need to be handled with care. I’m teaching a class here tomorrow. If you could show me my room, and where my truck might be, I’ll get them myself.” She hesitated. Damn. She’d given orders to the alpha. Could she stuff her foot any further into her mouth? Her face grew warm. “My apologies, Alpha Stefan. If I’d known—”
“If you’d known, I think you would still need to handle your bags with care. Shall we?” He offered his arm and took her bag in one hand.
“I can carry that myself,” she said, not wanting to put the alpha out any more than she already had.
“I’m sure you can. I was merely being polite.”
She blew out a sigh and took his arm. “Thank you, Alpha Stefan. I appreciate the help. So where is this room I can have?”
He stepped into the elevator and punched the button for the fifth floor. “My apartment.”
Stefan enjoyed the look of pure shock on the woman’s face. As soon as he’d told her where they were going, she’d dropped her hand and stepped away from him. This was not a woman who used feminine wiles to capture a man. She wanted nothing to do with him. It showed in her stiff shoulders, crossed arms, tight mouth, and narrowed eyes. He kept a neutral look on his face but smiled inwardly. She intrigued him on many levels. He discovered he was actually looking forward to the challenge she offered.
Malena Troutman. The lion within him was practically purring, and so was the man.

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